Greater Spokane Inc.

As the world has had to learn to be more responsive to immediate and continuously changing needs, Spokane County United Way has too. 

Our local programs have felt the increasing need of housing, new and unanticipated need for better social and emotional health supports, and programs that reach youth and young adults to address and mitigate factors that contribute to chronic homelessness. The pressure placed on young families and children by the pandemic, including the need to attend school virtually and childcare gaps created when parents needed to be at work, only magnified the existing gaps in accessing services. The need for emergency food, shelter, and support for families caught by unexpected unemployment also skyrocketed.

We responded with new and deeper investments in programs with partner agencies, a hallmark of Spokane County United Way and how embedded we are in our community since our beginning more than 100 years ago. We spearheaded the Anchor Community Initiative in partnership with A Way Home Washington and the City of Spokane, which continues to work to reduce and end youth and young adult homelessness. Through our Built for Zero initiative, we are working to identify and place homeless adults and veterans in transitional housing while supporting them in treatment and skill-building to break the cycle of chronic homelessness.  

And through this work, we have enabled Spokane to officially produce a sustained, measurable reduction in youth and young adult homelessness. Spokane is the first community in Washington State to have a measurable reduction in active homelessness for any population and third in the nation to achieve this milestone. This is work that creates lasting change for our community.

Spokane County United Way’s purpose remains to meet the challenges that we are facing today and prepare for a better tomorrow. We know no true change is achieved without the work of many, and this includes your continued and generous support. To live better, we must LIVE UNITED. 

As we look ahead, please consider investing in the future of children, young adults, and families across our county. Because of your trust in Spokane County United Way to be good stewards of your investment, we will continue to be here to serve and uplift our community on your behalf.   

With appreciation,

John Dickson 
President and CEO, Spokane County United Way

Spokane County’s child abuse, neglect, and domestic violence rates are nearly double the state average. That’s why United Way invests in parental support programs, counseling and emergency shelters for families struggling with these difficult issues...

Claudia and her son Ace began visiting the Nurturing Center at the Salvation Army in 2017 after escaping a domestic violence situation. Claudia was using heroine which prompted Child Protective Services (CPS) to remove Ace from Claudia’s care. Claudia missed many of the planned visits and had difficulty engaging with Ace.

In the spring of 2018, something changed. Claudia announced she was entering a treatment program and would be away for a few months. In July of 2018, CPS authorized visits for Ace with his mother. Staff noted that Claudia was engaged with Ace. They played on the floor, laughed, read books and played board games for hours. Claudia had been clean for 60 days. From that first visit Claudia never missed an opportunity to visit with Ace. In fact, she arrived early and waited for him. The bond between mother and son grew with every visit.

A few months later Claudia was able to secure housing in the Stepping Stones program. Claudia now had a safe place to live. With the assistance of a case worker she secured employment. This was the first time in three years Claudia was able to hold down a job. She worked full time, visited Ace multiple times a week, and attended parenting classes and therapy.

In March of 2019 Claudia was able to move out of the Stepping Stones program and into permanent housing. In-home visits and follow-up services then began. In July Ace was returned to Claudia and the stable home she provided. United Way investments are critical to the Stepping Stones program.

As a donor to United Way, your dollars reach families to provide safe homes through parental support programs, mental health and substance abuse counseling, emergency shelters and affordable housing.

Spokane County United Way fights for the Health, Education and Financial Stability of every person in our community.

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